Agenda At Once v2.0

Reviewed by: Thomas V. Kappel, July 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Dataland Software, go to the web site
Requires: Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP
MSRP: $19.95

There’s something appealing about a small, inexpensive, mission-specific piece of computer software. This type of product is usually not bloated with features that you’ll never use, is often faster and smaller as a result, and the learning curve is mostly manual-less. The downside to all this is the same reduced functionality. But at the correspondingly low price, the main question is whether or not there are enough functions and features in the software to do what you need it to do.

Agenda At Once purports to be exactly all of the best for scheduling software: the right features and a great price. It’s a shareware organizer program that has a scheduler (calendar), a to-do list and a Quick Notes feature. All this for only $19.95 and it comes with a money back guarantee. You can try it out for free of course, with only a few features blocked. This will allow you to see if it answers the big question of whether it will do what you need it to do.

The program is small and fast. The entire installer is only 1.7MB and the program itself will install on and run from a floppy disk or a flash drive. The startup screen is divided into three parts. The scheduler takes up the majority of the window from center to the right. The to-do list takes up the top left with the Quick Notes on the bottom left. The window menus and commands are not presented in the normal familiar Windows format or style, but they are somewhat intuitive and you can jump right in and start to work. If you are familiar with other schedulers it will take you only a short time to get used to the functional processes for the schedule entry and inputs.

There is always some good and bad about any program. One of the Agenda At Once features that can be extremely handy is the ability to create and use multiple databases. This allows separate schedules (calendars) for work, children’s sports schedules, homework schedules or anything else. This prevents you from having to use only a single a schedule junked up with a lot of different times and tasks. Mission-specific calendars work just like mission-specific software; neat and to the point.

Here are the most valuable features:

  • Multiple database support
  • To-do list hierarchically organized as tasks & subtasks
  • Filters by due date
  • Manual and drag and drop task scheduling and planning
  • Graphical daily planner
  • Recurring to-do & schedule items
  • Custom schedule views (daily, weekly, monthly)
  • To-do & schedule reminder
  • Quick Notes—hyperlink-aware searchable notes
  • Printing functions
  • CSV import/export
  • Password protection
  • Customizable
  • Low memory & disk requirements

That’s more features than you usually need if all you’re looking for is a simple calendar and scheduler. Still, for the price there are a good deal of extras and they do seem to work as advertised.

The printing functions are different and one area that may be a little disappointing or disconcerting. You cannot print all that is on the screen for a single day on a single page. The scheduler, the to-do list and the Quick Notes page all print separately and in a report format style. The monthly scheduler doesn’t print the month in box format either, just a report format list. The print preview button is hidden on the print instruction window and is not in the usual place on the Windows drop down menu. You must select print, then the item to print separately—scheduler, to-do list or quick notes—then hit the preview button on the bottom left of the print dialog box. The print selection box does allow choices such as page ranges, dates and other selections which help focus the printing process on the data that’s needed.

The program minimizes, but it doesn’t show up as open on the Windows task bar. You have to click on a quick start icon to bring it up again. It’s these few small differences from the more standardized interfaces and functions in most Windows programs that may throw you off for a moment, but you should settle in pretty quickly.

So the bottom line is that Agenda At Once is a small, efficient, inexpensive program for maintaining your individual schedules. It may not work for you in a shared environment at work, but if you need a quick, stand-alone program to schedule work, sports events for the kids, band practice or any other of the home and children-specific schedules, Agenda At Once is probably right up your alley.

Agenda At Once is Shareware and is free to try and experiment with before you buy. If you have the need, the interest and the time, do so.

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